All the four accused in the rape and murder case of a 27-year-old veterinarian were killed in a police encounter on Friday morning, but the details relating to the encounter are scarce as of yet.
Several media reports relied on information from “officials” or “police sources”, but there are several discrepancies in the accounts.
N Prakash Reddy, a deputy commissioner of police in Shamshabad, near Hyderabad, told Reuters that at around 6 in the morning, police had arrived at the spot to reconstruct the scene of crime. “The accused have tried to snatch their weapons, and there was a cross-fire. In this, all the four accused have died. Two policemen have been injured,” he added.
The report also said that earlier another police official had put the time of the deaths at around 3:30 am and there was no immediate explanation for the discrepancy.
Meanwhile, “police sources” told The Hindu that the exchange of fire took place between 3.30 am and 5 am near the Chatanpally underpass. The Indian Express timeline said the encounter took place at 3.30 am. News18 quoted police officials as saying that the accused tried to escape custody when they were taken at 3:30 am to the crime scene.
Another senior police official told PTI that the incident took place around 6.30 am when the accused were taken to the scene of the crime to reconstruct the events for investigation.
Cyberabad Police Commissioner VC Sajjanar told ANI that the accused were killed in a police encounter between 3 am and 6 am.
Apart from the discrepancy in the time of the encounter, some key details are also missing in these accounts. As Reuters pointed out, no details were immediately available about how many police personnel had escorted the four accused and whether they were handcuffed or roped together as is usually the case.
The police is expected to hold a press conference later today.
(With PTI and Reuters inputs)